19/10/2011 DeLorean DMC-12 Electric: Back from the Future
Few cars have experienced the rapid rise and fall of the individually designed (but seriously flawed) DeLorean DMC-12. Yet the fateful car could well be reincarnated in 2013 as a ‘zero-emissions electric vehicle’, according to the now Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company.
At a conference held in the southern US state last week, the current owners of the DeLorean name, rights and parts inventory declared that the company would be working in conjunction with Epic EV – an electric car start-up – to produce a limited production run of all-electric DMC-12s. While the idea falls some way short of the nuclear-fusion propulsion system in the film ‘Back to the Future’, it will certainly be intriguing to watch the storyline of an all-electric DMC-12 unfold.
DeLorean’s well-publicised downfall in the early 1980s was the result of a welter of lawsuits and shady omissions from balance sheets, not to mention the legal proceedings taken against the founder regarding a $24m cocaine shipment. Thirteen years after the company’s liquidation in 1982, Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne acquired the necessary rights and supply of spares to produce newly constructed cars, using a combination of NOS (New Old Stock), OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and reproduced parts.
An obvious question that will need to be answered is how to provide enough energy from an electric motor to power the hefty car, without adding too much weight. The heavy gullwing doors and stainless steel bodywork are unlikely to be sacrificed due to their importance to the DMC-12's character.
The original car's sizeable mass contributed towards its poor performance, which wasn’t helped by a lazy V6 engine and a new American emissions law which stole a further 20HP from its already paltry 150HP figure.